Thursday, October 25, 2012

A New Start

Well, readers, it's been a very long time since I published an update. But I wanted to tell you that I'd moved to The Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs. I moved in with my boyfriend a few months ago and Misty Rose has gone back to her much quieter life without a roommate.

We did not sell her -- she still sits in her old berth, where she is very comfortable (especially without all of my stuff crammed into every available cranny.)

Thank you for your support and friendship during the years I lived aboard. You collectively encouraged me and kept me going when I didn't think I could continue in whatever freezing winter, boiling summer or strange situation I found myself in and I thank you for it.

Living aboard was an amazing and wonderful experience and one I'm thankful for -- and it is certainly a period of time I'll never forget.

I hope to see you at the new blog where you can read about my efforts to re-acclimate to life on land!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A hearty holiday...

Happy Valentine's Day from Misty Rose to everyone in the blog community!

To all our readers, family and friends: Thank you for reading -- and thank you for all your kind comments, both those typed in the comment section and those made to me in person and on Facebook. I can't say how much I appreciate them -- but it's a lot.

Now if you'll excuse me, Misty and I have some valentines to make for our friends.

Here's hoping you have a wonderful, sparkle-filled hearty holiday.


Misty and Aleksandra

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

So do you like have a bathroom...?

Well yes, yes I do.

It always makes me want to laugh hysterically when someone asks me this.

Really? Do you think I'm a magical creature that doesn't make waste? Do I smell so bad you assume I never shower? (Yeah. That's right. I alluded to the fact that I use a toilet. Get over it.)

I think what they really mean to ask is, "What's your bathroom situation?"

I have a marine toilet, commonly called a head, on board. (Remember when I had to rebuild it?)

However, because my marina is awesome, I live RIGHT NEXT to the bathrooms. There is one boat that's slightly closer, but I couldn't begin to keep my boat in his slip (he's on the sea wall and my boat is too short for that!)

I have a personal access card to use one of four (or two in the winter) bathrooms.
 Each bathroom is its own room with a fold-down seat for putting clothes on, a toilet, a sink and a giant shower stall. Bathroom No. 3 is my personal fave because it has a really nice showerhead. And it's one of the ones only accessible with an access card (and therefore not open all day long for everyone to use).

So yes, readers. I have a bathroom. And I know how to use it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Better late than never...

 Well, folks, I'm finally getting around to telling you about the 2011 Annapolis Sailboat Show. It was a LOT of fun!

I don't have a whole lot of pictures because it seemed more important to use my hands for my Pusser's Painkiller. For those of you not in the know, a Painkiller is a very tasty rum drink that includes pineapple juice, orange juice, maraschino cherries, an orange slice and.... some other stuff. Coconut I think. Anyway it's the breakfast of champions. I'm sure it was 5 o'clock somewhere.

I bought ONE THING all day: a discounted Henri Lloyd rain shell. Because my old one is from high school and the sleeves are a little short.

But the boat show isn't about buying stuff -- it's about walking around and seeing everything there is to see!

The one thing I was dying to see all day was a nice selection of ranges -- too bad none of the vendors brought any ranges. Seriously. I even confronted the people from Defender about it. And they said if I wanted to see ranges, I should have to experience unpacking them because they're very heavy.

But there were heads everywhere! And refrigerating units and anchors, oh my! Really? Not a range in sight?

I had to comfort myself with a lunch at Davis Pub in Eastport. It was the only thing to do. Greg had never been there. Did I mention Greg came to the boat show with me? He is pictured here with the post-lunch painkiller.

I found lots of interesting things, including a new way to have a door to the cabin, a self-setting anchor (not so sure if THAT works), stand-up paddle boards (you all know my obsession with that!), Lonseal floors, nesting cooking pots, custom-made latex mattresses (I wish!) and just about everything else you can imagine.

Oh yeah, there are boats there, too. But who looks at those?

We also saw this super cool line-making machine. Isn't that neat? We must have watched it for nearly 10 minutes. All those spools of line are doing a sort of maypole dance underneath the block in the top of the photo. Very cool. Especially when you're two painkillers in.

And finally toward the end of the day, we sat on the dock and watched the ducks. Just because we could and because Annapolis is fun.

I highly recommend a visit to the boat show -- it's a great day of entertainment.See you there in October 2012!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My nest...

Well winter is finally starting to rear it's ugly, cold head. And that means it's really hard to leave my nest bed in the morning.

I sleep in the v-berth of Misty Rose. The v-berth is essentially a compartment in the pointy part of the boat toward the bow.

My v-berth has the holding tank beneath it (there is a wooden platform that acts as the "floor" of the berth completely surrounding the tank, don't worry, you'd never know). On top of the holding tank platform is my bed.

I used to be a simple, one-sheet, one-blanket girl and then I spent my first winter aboard. And then I got an electric blanket during my second winter. And during my second summer I sprained my ankle and acquired a large number of pillows with which I propped my swollen ankle.

And I never got rid of any of it.

So what you see to the right here is my bed currently. Believe it or not, I had a couple more blankets last winter.

I won't apologize for the sheet not being fully tucked in. This is not a regular rectangular bed. You try making a triangular bed with a flat sheet and see how it turns out. So there.

Anyway, I've got in the back there the pink quilt I made in my sophomore year of college, a down comforter I bought in college, five or six pillows, a faux snuggie I carted in from the couch last night (it was cold!), my light cotton summer blanket and my beautiful and wonderful brown fuzzy electric blanket. That's its cord hanging down in the bottom left of the photo. And the cord on the right is very sneakily leading to my lamp/alarm clock. My Kindle is also hanging out on top of the lamp outside the frame. Along with about five half-drunk cups of water. Cause that's how I roll.

So for all you who want to know if it gets cold on the boat -- yes. Yes it does. But I can always just snuggle up in my bed and turn the electric blanket on high...

Monday, December 19, 2011

The end of procrastination...

Well I finally did it. I stopped putting off winterization. (Isn't that a weird word? One of the thousands of strange boat-isms)

Anyway. After attending my grandfather's funeral and wake on Saturday, Greg and I stopped by the boat to grab a couple of things and I happened to see Captain Phil of the Pintita, former boss and teacher of the USCG Captain's Course I took a couple winters ago. Capt. Phil is a STICKLER for early winterization, though to be honest it's only barely frozen overnight a couple of times this season. And with my boat in the water, it's not likely to freeze hard enough to crack the engine block anytime soon. But I'd purchased the antifreeze and I figured it was about well on time to get the antifreeze pumped through. And seeing the good Skipper lit a fire under me to be a prudent boater.

Luckily, winterizing my engine is a short procedure.

My engine, being an inboard diesel, is seawater cooled. It sucks water directly from the Bay, through a filter, and then around the engine to cool it when it is running. In the wintertime, if you don't replace this water with antifreeze, the water inside your engine can freeze and expand and crack your engine block. If you're keeping your boat in the water, you can wait a lot longer to winterize your engine because the water holds heat and until the water starts freezing, you don't really have to worry about this. If you store your boat on land in winter, you need to winterize for sure before removing your boat from the water.

Most boaters, including me, use potable antifreeze (which is pink, as opposed to antifreeze you use in your car, which is usually scarily green) for winterizing because you end up pouring an entire gallon of it directly into the Bay. On Misty, to winterize the engine, all I needed to do was fill a bucket with the pink stuff, unscrew the band holding the hose to the intake seacock (which I closed, thank you very much), pull the hose off, place the hose in the bucket 'o' antifreeze, and start the engine. Greg was quite helpful at this juncture. It's VERY difficult to get into and out of the engine access hole on Misty, so he was kind enough to fulfill my tool requests and watch the exhaust water to make sure it was turning fully pink.

And that's it! After the engine has sucked up a whole gallon of antifreeze and spat it out the back, all you need to do is reattach the hose.

Come spring (or a suitably warm winter day!) all you need to do is open the seawater intake seacock and start the engine and voila! Seawater cooling and antifreeze feeding the fishes.

Now if I could just muster the desire to fill my water tank so I can do some dishes tonight...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving thanks for a happy life...

This Thanksgiving I'll be spending the day at the boyfriend's house and Misty will be all alone. Maybe she and the other boats will enjoy their own special Thanksgiving feast together. After all, Thanksgiving is a boating holiday, isn't it? I distinctly remember learning in Lower School about pilgrims and boats.

The world may never know.

Meanwhile, I'm giving thanks for my floating home, good food, electric blankets, friends and family that love me, a job (something I wasn't able to be thankful for last year!), internet that works, plenty of books to read and the best marina staff a girl could ask for.

Really, I am blessed beyond belief -- and today I am very thankful.

I wish you a happy Thanksgiving, readers, and I hope you have just as many things to be thankful for as I do.

* Read about past Thanksgivings here and here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gettin' cold...

"Gettin' cold on the boat, isn't it?"

I hear this question several times a week from random co-workers, neighbors, marina staff, friends and various family members.

Another popular variation is: "So you live on a boat right? Isn't it, like, cold?"

Yes, yes it is.

"So what do you, like, do?"

The same thing you probably do -- I turn on the heat! I have two of these West Marine brand portable cabin heaters. I rarely use two, but every occasionally I get home late and it's cold. I also have a paranoia of breaking on in the middle of the night when it's 20 degrees out and freezing to death. Not like my parents live just 20 minutes away or anything. In the winter, my electricity bill runs about $130 a month for those who are curious. In summer, when I don't need a heater and the light lasts longer, it runs about $15 a month.

They retail for about $72, but you can usually find a $10-off coupon or a sale on these when it starts to get cold out.

The liveaboards I met last winter used traditional space heaters, but I have a paranoia about those as well. I have visions of them falling over and creating a fire in my beloved home. Fire aboard is one liveaboard experience I do not care to have. My little heater sits flat to the floor and could not possibly tip over. And I try to keep things off of the tables around it so that nothing falls in and burns. Starting a much-dreaded fire.

I blame my dad, by the way, for my fire paranoia. But in this case, I think it may be a healthy paranoia. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2009 there were 5 deaths, approximately 130 injuries and more than $12,557,513 in damages from boat related fires in the United States.Youch!

I also, some of you longtime readers may remember, have an electric blanket that my parents' dog (you remember my father's secretary?) got me for Christmas last year. It is my favorite thing for banishing the cold quickly. Especially now that I work from home two days a week.

Add that to a nice warm waterproof winter coat, ski pants, Gore Tex gloves and snow boots, and I'm prepared to tackle just about any boat-related chore around.

Mind you, that doesn't mean I won't bitch about how cold it is from time to time. And it doesn't mean I won't impotently threaten to move into an apartment.

So, yes. It's gettin' cold on the boat. But this girl is prepared...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Misty is so spoiled...

I went shopping with my mother for her birthday a couple of weekends ago and, while out, I found the item of my dreams: a Le Creuset kettle on sale for $40. I couldn't believe what I was seeing there in the TJ Maxx. It was the only one there and it was the perfect color.

Of course Misty would get a present for my mother's birthday. Brat.

The backstory here is that my old kettle was aluminum. My father purchased it for the boat several years ago (before I lived aboard) because he hates enamel.

Well, what he didn't anticipate was rust. No amount of steel wool could cure that disgusting kettle. Seriously. I have used half a box over the last year. You can see the offending kettle on my stove there:

And recently, I noticed it was starting to rust inside as well as out. Um, no thank you. I prefer my tea with milk and sugar -- not rust!

It's a pretty little kettle isn't it? And with this and my newest member of the collapsible family, Misty is getting to be just a little bit spoiled...